High school preps for swampy musical

Jacob Lane · Wednesday, November 6, 2013
From Nov. 7-9, West Liberty High School is taking on one filthy, stinking, and somewhat disgusting project. "Shrek the Musical" is coming to an auditorium near you.

The musical, which has been running professionally on broadway since 2008, focuses on the first movie in the famous animated franchise. Director Nathan Shivers is excited to bring it to West Liberty.

"I'd seen the musical and I really enjoyed it," he said. "When the rights became available, I went for it."

Shivers, the vocal and choir instructor at the high school, has helped direct musicals in town before, but this is his first time as the lead director.

"Everyone knows the music of Shrek, so it's fun for me to see the kids bring it to life," he added," I know they've enjoyed it too."

Students have practiced for nearly 10 weeks on the performance. The final production will clock anywhere from two to two and-a-half hours. Parents and grandparents have even contributed by designing the set.

With a staff of students numbering around 70, Shivers said many of the costumes are either rented from the Waterloo Community Theater or made in Chicago.

It's a colorful show, with a colorful cast of characters. So much so, the lead roles can be a bit daunting for the performers.

"It's a little intimidating" said junior Ina Haskell, she's taking on the role of "Donkey" in the musical. "I'm really excited, but it's stressful because everyone has an expectation."

Donkey was made popular by actor and comedian Eddie Murphy; portraying him and the movie's other famous characters is a large responsibility on the students.

"When I first found out I got the role, I watched Eddie Murphy for hours," Haskell added.

Every year the high school and the middle school switch responsibility for the annual musical. Two years ago the high school performed the "Wedding Singer," which was based on the movie of the same name.

But Shrek is a whole different experience. A comedic take on the worlds of fairy tales and dreams, it's a project students have really gotten behind.

Tickets are now on sale at the high school, $8 for adults, $5 for children, and free for children younger than kindergarten. The musical will take place at 7 p.m. on Nov. 7-9 in the high school auditorium
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